It hasn't gotten quite the press of, say, Scarlett Johnasson's phone banking for Obama, but Mia Farrow has exploited every waning ounce of her celebrity reminding the press freedom-enjoying community that China imports billions of dollars worth of oil from the Sudan, sometimes trading that oil for weapons and anyway propping up a genocidal Arab dictatorship that might stop butchering its citzens if it exercised its economic muscle. But yesterday's announcement that Steven Spielberg would step down from his post as a creative director for the upcoming Olympic Games is a huge — if somewhat Pyhrric — victory for her cause. See, China could very easily sway the murderous Sudanese government to let up on its human rights abuses. But to do so would be to acknowledge that such a thing as "human rights" exists. And by extension that the current power structure in China can only claim to have been good for the country's humans because it inflicted so much senseless inhumanity and brutal oppression in the forty years preceding the present era that the country actually appears, relative to the days in which kids were brainwashed into beating up their parents and shit, to be not so bad.
China will certainly appear, to the millions who attend its utterly whitewashed, coalfire/street people/industrial belch-free/parallel universe-inhabiting Olympic Games, to be not so bad. And shit, on a historical scale or compared alongside conditions in much of the Third World, that's true. But for the same 1.5 billion reasons guys like Spielberg are so transfixed by the place, women like Mia Farrow — and Angelina Jolie and George Clooney, who is not a woman but maybe we could make him an honorary one for this purpose — are doing their public duty as famous people who know lots of other famous people, to look out for less famous ones. I love you, Mia Farrow, and I'm glad you didn't need to have anyone's legs broken over this; the power of your message seemed to be enough.
Spielberg Quits [Washington Post]
Script Issues Block Cusack Film From Shooting In China [USA Today]